Tag Archives: persistence

“[Zacchaeus] wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd.  So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.”  (Luke 19:3-4, NIV)

Our circumstances will often conspire to keep us from seeing Jesus — which includes doing the thing we know in our heart that we ought to do.

Zacchaeus was short.  The crowd was large — and taller than Zacchaeus.  But Zacchaeus didn’t curse the crowd.  He didn’t blame God; and he didn’t shrug his shoulders and surrender his desire to see Jesus.

Although short in stature, Zacchaeus’ mind was as good as anyone’s.  His will was as strong as anyone’s.  So, he didn’t focus on what he lacked; instead, he used what he had. The scripture says that Zacchaeus “ran ahead. . .”

Today, circumstances may conspire to keep you from following Jesus; but don’t give-in.  Do not focus on what you lack; seize and employ the things you have, as Zacchaeus did — and you will not only see Jesus, but Jesus will see you!  – Luther

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“But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand.  When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”  (Matthew 7:26-27, NLT)

Most of our personal calamities or failures occur for lack of obedience to Jesus’ teaching.  It is not because the calamity is God’s “payback” for our disobedience; rather, it is because we have ignored God’s blueprint that we discover, frequently in tears, that our own designs are inadequate for the stresses of life.  In this instance, we are responsible for our choices.

It is helpful to note that in Jesus’ parable, both houses are beat upon by the rains, and assaulted by the floods.  However, only the house built on a solid rock is able to withstand the events that test our foundation.

When the next storm of life arrives, will your life’s foundation prove adequate?  Jesus says, “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.” (verse 24)  – Luther

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“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.  Keep on seeking, and you will find.  Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives.  Everyone who seeks, finds.  And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”  (Matthew 7:7-8, NLT)

A commentary on these verses in The People’s New Testament says this: “The terms are here used with reference to prayer, and these constitute a climax.  Ask implies a simple petition.  Seek indicates an earnest search.  Knock shows perseverance in spite of hindrances.  The three represent earnest prayer.”

Discerning sense from nonsense in the topic of prayer tries the patience of even the most stalwart of Christian disciples.  Everyone seems to have an opinion on the topic; and some of these opinions appear contradictory.

In every such instance, return to the simple words of our Christ: Ask.  Seek.  Knock.

God knows what we want before we ask, but He is delighted by the petitions of His children, in the manner of a shall child who always takes all of her joys, concerns, and hurts to her father’s ear, because, “My daddy can do anything!”  = Luther

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